Got to pop out? Why there’s nothing to worry about…

by Angus Healy // January 2018

The New Year has reached us, and with it, the end of the festivities. The decorations have come down, the drinks are dry, and Michael Buble has gone back into hibernation for the next 11 months (I for one, shall miss him dearly). With fond memories of the festive cheer, and our stomachs starting to crave the delightful seasonal foods we have grown so accustomed to in the last month, we have since slipped back into the routine of our daily lives.

As we head back to the daily grind, it is important to remember that the festive period has been particularly amazing for our four-pawed friend. Not only was there the excitement of the festivities, but he had his favourite humans with him all the time! The sudden change to being left on his own may take him by surprise, and especially if he’s a new addition to the family, it may be quite an adjustment for him to make.

Luckily for you, Surrey Dog School is here to help, with a few tips and tricks to give both you and your dog ease of mind.

The Gradual Introduction

Leaving the dog on his own is a big step to take, and especially if this is something you’ve never done, it may seem a bit daunting. But never fear, by taking it one step at a time, you can ensure that both you and your dog are comfortable at all times!

The first thing to do is to ensure that he is comfortable with you being in a separate room to him. This is crucially important, as you’ll need to be able to tell how your dog is coping with being left by himself before actually leaving the house. Don’t be afraid to lower the initial goal line or start afresh if your dog doesn’t seem to cope, it’s perfectly normal that he may be a little concerned of being by himself, especially if he has never been left alone before.

Nothing Juno likes more than a good comfortable sleep!

Once you are both comfortable with being in separate rooms, you can start leaving him for a very small amount of time, such as just taking a small walk up and down the road. Over a few days, slowly build up the amount of time you can comfortably leave for.

If you ever feel concerned about whether he is coping, or if he seems distressed upon your return, don’t worry, just take a step back and work from there.

There is a plethora of funky gadgets available on the market to help keep an eye on your dog while you’re out, so have a look around and see if there is anything that would suit you!

Keeping your dog entertained

While you’re not around, it’s a great idea to keep him occupied ( to prevent him from doing anything cheeky while you are away).

If your dogs are anything like our team’s lovable canines, then there’s nothing he will like better than having a good play, and with the right enrichment, he will very rarely mind if you’re there or not. Not only is enrichment an excellent way to keep your dog mentally stimulated, but a fantastic way to keep him occupied and relieve his boredom while his person isn’t around. Always make sure that you’re giving him enrichment that you have previously supervised him with and are happy leaving him alone with.

Pepper having a grand old chew

If you’re lucky enough to have more than one four pawed pal in your home, not only will that ease your disappearance, but they can help entertain each other during this time. It’s always a good idea to still follow the same gradual steps as above, and make sure the dogs are the best of friends with plenty of space for the both of them! You can ease any stresses by removing any food, or toys that happen to be both his favourites from the area they are in, to ensure tails keep wagging while you’re out.

Keeping Safe and Secure

Giving your dog his own safe and secure area while you are out is fantastic and can be a great aid in helping him remain comfortable. For many of us with younger dogs, the use of a crate is often used at first when to sleep the pup in, and it’s not uncommon that your dog will start to gravitate towards the crate as a place of rest or if he’s looking for some time to himself. It’s important to remember that we want the crate to always be a happy place for your pup to go whenever he need some time or space for himself, rather than somewhere for you to put him when he’s done (or doing) something we might not like!

 

Hanging out! Bud and Dexter are in heaven with this delightful bed.

As always, remember to introduce this to your dog at a gradual pace with plenty if praise and reward, and if he looks nervous or uncomfortable at all please don’t worry, if they are not quite ready for that particular stage yet just take it back a step.

A safe and secure area for the dog doesn’t necessarily have to be a crate, it can be any place in your home where your dog feels comfortable. If this is the case, make life as easy as you can, and remove anything from that area that may be ever slightly too tempting for your dog to get, that you may not want him to have.

Canine Check up

There may occasionally be times that our beloved pooches may have be left for a longer period of time than we may like. If there is ever a time you need to leave him for more than 4 hours, it is important to make sure that he does get looked in on. If it’s at all possible, a close family member or friend is ideal to use for a look in, however if you have to use a dog sitter/walker, do some research and make sure that you and your dog are happy with whomever is visiting with gradual introductions conducted while you are there.

Don’t Forget!

We are now running fun and informative classes for all the family across different parts of Surrey! For more information please call us on: 01372 224766 or email: surreydogschool@dogstrust.org.uk and get booked on to some of our classes.

You can also follow us;

Instagram: DogSchoolSurrey and Twitter: @SurreyDogSchool